Equine Assisted Services

Morning Dove serves groups through many unique programs, including field trips, workshops, and our unique Lead Changes program serving at-risk youth and adults.

We can design a program that fits the needs of your group, too!

Lead Changes©

Morning Dove’s Lead Changes© program serves the at-risk community in an Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL) group format, including sessions designed for youth and for addiction rehabilitation. The program was developed in 2017 as an innovative EFL program using the proven benefits of the animal-human bond.

​This program is intended to build:

  • Confidence
  • Respect
  • Positive self-esteem
  • Trust

​Lead Changes© is offered to at-risk youth in partnership with elementary and middle schools in the greater Indianapolis community, including Marion, Boone, Hamilton and Hendricks counties. If you or your school would like to learn more about this program, please contact us!

The Lead Changes© curriculum is directly linked to 21st Century Learning skills:

  • Creativity and innovation
  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Communication
  • Collaboration

​This ensures the impact can be extended into the classroom and ultimately into the children’s daily lives.

Lead Changes© has also been adapted and expanded to address the unique challenges faced by adults in addiction recovery, as well as adults adapting to post-traumatic events. Using equine EFL activities to teach and reinforce positive relationships and behaviors, the program is designed for adults (versus our youth program). Our ultimate goal is for the participants to increase self-confidence, improve communication, compassion, empathy, self-discipline, and enhance engagement in their lives and community.

Lead Changes© is offered in partnership with hospital-based programs and community organizations in the greater Indianapolis community.  If your organization would like to learn more about this program, please contact us!

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Heroes On Board

Horses don’t judge. They don’t have expectations of the people they interact with and they don’t have hidden agendas. What horses do have is a keen ability to understand the attitudes and moods of the humans who cross their paths.

Morning Dove’s Heroes on Board program for veterans unites our perceptive hero herd with some of our country’s heroes in a stress-free, welcoming environment. Participants go through a series of ground exercises with our horses, working at their own speed and comfort level. The program has its roots in studies that have shown that equine assisted exercises can help with things like emotional awareness, empathy, stress tolerance, impulse control, problem-solving skills, interpersonal relationships, post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury. 

Each small-group session of Heroes on Board is tailored to the needs of each individual participant, with the overall aim being to help reduce the sense of isolation that can make returning home difficult for individuals who have served in our military. Heroes on Board sessions run year-round. For more information, contact us at (317) 733-9393 or use the button below.

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Healing through Horses

Healing through Horses is an Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) program designed to help with lowering levels of anxiety, improving mood and healing from trauma in a group therapy setting.

Healing Through Horses is established by Morning Dove Therapeutic Riding Center partnered with Lisa Hunt, LCSW.

How it works:

The approach, Equine Assisted Learning (EAL), involves hands-on, ground-based activities with horses. There is no riding involved, and no need for experience with horses. Our trained, professional facilitators first assess the needs of your team and then carefully craft a program designed to achieve your group’s specific goals. Together with the horses, we create a space for you to explore, discover, and grow.

Who Facilitates?

Every EAL session is facilitated by a three-part team: (1) a licensed psychologist (who also happens to be a global corporate trainer), (2) an equine specialist, and (3) a group of horses.

Why horses?

Horses help humans develop tools for effective communication. Because horses use mostly nonverbal means to communicate within their herd, they’re also very aware of and sensitive to the nonverbals of humans. They have a tendency to “mirror”, or reflect, to humans what they perceive. Therefore, interaction with them requires people to pay careful attention to visual cues such as body language, distance and physical environment, movement, and behavior patterns. Consequently, through EAL, participants gain insight into their own communication style and develop a stronger understanding of how nonverbal communication impacts and influences their interactions in everyday life.

Horses help humans learn essential relationship skills. Because horses are prey animals, they live in herds that operate much like human social groups – there are hierarchies, displays of leadership, and differing access to resources. The dynamics of the herd provide a rich environment for building group awareness and the qualities of a “norming” and “performing” team: identification and resolution of differences, appreciation for individual strengths, clarity of roles and respect for leaders, and commitment and progress toward the team goal.

Horses help promote social and emotional learning in humans. Due to their sheer size and presence, and their herd and prey-related instinctive behavior, horses can be perceived as intimidating creatures. Interaction with them, then, requires a heightened awareness of self, others, and environment, and naturally lends itself to gains in assertiveness and self-confidence.

If you are interested in this group therapy approach please contact us below.

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